[Grammar] Article "a" or "the" here?

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Joe333

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Sentence: It is indeed a loss of face. Or should it be: It is indeed really the loss of face ?

Question:
Where and when can the article "a" and "the" be used with this expression (loss of face) ? Can we in our written reply use "a" in the expression to someone who has already said it to us ? Or "the" should be used if someone has already said "a loss of face" and we are agreeing with them repeating the same expression.

Kindly answer.

Thanks :)
 

Raymott

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Sentence: It is indeed a loss of face. Or should it be: It is indeed really the loss of face ?

Question:
Where and when can the article "a" and "the" be used with this expression (loss of face) ? Can we in our written reply use "a" in the expression to someone who has already said it to us ? Or "the" should be used if someone has already said "a loss of face" and we are agreeing with them repeating the same expression.

Kindly answer.

Thanks :)
Yes, the usual rules apply.

"It was a loss of face for North Korea when the rocket fell into the sea." (This is the first mention of a loss of face.)
"It was a very expensive exercise for the North Koreans, but it was the loss of face that affected them most." (The loss of face has already been identified/referred to.)
 
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It is indeed a loss of face is correct

After you've established the subject (even without using the specific words), we then tend to use 'the'.

e.g.
There has been a car crash on the A47. Police report that no-one was injured in the accident.

so...

"But it is not the loss of seats in the Duma that will damage Vladimir Putin most, it is the loss of face." (BBC) In this article Putin's damaged reputation (i.e. his loss of face) had been already mentioned. Although no use had yet been made of the term 'loss of face', the writer used 'the' because a 'loss of face' had already been implied.
 
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